Sunday, 11 May 2014

Dexys - Nowhere Is Home film

Friday night's premiere of Nowhere Is Home revealed it's a beautifully shot film that captures the heartbeat and passion of Dexys' fourth album, One Day I'm Going To Soar.

The first 3 Dexys albums are very different from each other - punk anger fused with soul passion, then quickstep Celtic folk with gospel romance, then southern soul with spiritual ballads. That breadth of vision is a small part of Dexys' greatness.

But One Day I'm Going To Soar builds, despite the 27-year gap, on the theatrical premise of the third album, Don't Stand Me Down. We'll not say rock opera about either of those; let's call it musical drama. One Day I'm Going To Soar is, song by song, an obvious attempt to sustain a narrative and the run of shows at London's Duke of York theatre presented the album as a musical.

So Nowhere Is Home is both a filming of a musical that, for financial reasons, had a limited run and, through interviews with Kevin Rowland and Big Jimmy Patterson, a Dexys biopic.

This isn't the One Day I'm Going To Soar film with the interviews and non-album songs as DVD extras. The question remains, though, if the film will appeal to a non-partisan crowd rather than just Dexys fans.

It's a tough question. Watching the performance of This Is What She's Like from Don't Stand Me Down reminded me that when I thought there could be such a thing as a greatest album ever made then it was obviously Don't Stand Me Down. Dexys are a band with 2 number one singles - one of them 1982's biggest seller - but neither Don't Stand Me Down nor One Day I'm Going To Soar caught the public's imagination in the same way.

Nowhere Is Home could redress the balance because One Day I'm Going To Soar works better in its stage setting than it does on record. If the film's a hit, then I suspect it'll be by word of mouth. Both the songs and the film merit the attention of a very large audience.

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